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just.in.time

PowerBook 5300ce - 8.1 or 8.6?

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Torn on which OS to put onto a 5300ce. While 8.6 can run on it, are any features over 8.1 worth the performance trade off?  It’s too slow for Classilla to be significantly usable.

 

Current specs are near stock, including 1.2 (?) GB hard drive and 800*600 LCD. However, it does have the RAM at 64MB (max for this unit).

 

If the 5300 series had the external L2 cache I’d say 8.6 all day long. However, not even the 117mhz 5300ce variant got any L2 cache.

 

Primary use would be for playing 1990-1996 era games. Nothing too crazy or over-the-top.

 

Anyone else have a 5300ce? What are your thoughts?

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I'd upgrade the hard disk over stock (CF to IDE perhaps), and stick with OS 8.6 for the advantage of more PPC code and an easier experience running more "modern" applications and better networking.  It'll feel sluggish whatever you run, owing to that lowly PPC CPU; OS 8.1 contains mostly 68K code

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Personally, it depends on whether I have a large hard disk and need HFS+ or not. If not, I'd probably just run 7.6.1 on it. Load SpeedDoubler and it won't be too bad. Honestly the CE model isn't really any faster than the C because its extra power is spent on the larger screen. 

 

Basically with a pre-PCI Mac, I stop at 8.6 regardless; OS 9 is too heavy and really doesn't bring anything to the party that 8.6 is missing on those old things. Unless I have under 20MB of RAM I usually skip 8.1 because there's not a ton of stuff that needs it and it's kind of a weird middle ground: 8.0 was supposed to be System 7.7 but it was renamed to screw with the clone makers, whose license only allowed them to ship System 7. So Apple threw in a bunch of shiny bits from the Copland project in the next update and called it OS 8.

Anyway 8.6 can run some newer software that 8.1 can't, but there are occasional older System 7 apps or extensions that don't play nice with OS 8 or later. so it really depends on what you're running on it: if it's all old apps, I'd say 7.6. If you want to try to get iTunes or a newer network stack to run on it, 8.6. Oh, and I have some MO drives and System 7 absolutely hates the 640MB disks regardless of drive or formatting software. I don't know why. OS 8 or higher doesn't have problems with them. So I have to keep pre-OS 8 stuff on 230MB or smaller disks.

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Some great points on here.  I’d definitely like HFS+ support, so that means I’d need at least an install of 8.1 or above. @Franklinstein, funny enough my first Macintosh was a used PowerBook 5300cs back around 2000, and I ran 7.6.1 on it for way longer that 7.6.1 should have been a primary driver (around late 2002).  It’s crazy the difference in quality between the cs’ passive matrix 640*480 panel and the ce’s active matrix 800*600 panel.  Of course the price difference between the two when brand new was also crazy.

 

In the short term, I’ll probably keep 8.6 on the ‘Book.  Once I get a CF to IDE adapter down the road, I’ll set up an extra partition with 7.6.1 as well for some of the older software that maybe doesn’t play well with 8.6 and for nostalgia back to my first Mac :) Have a dual boot configuration.

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10 hours ago, just.in.time said:

funny enough my first Macintosh was a used PowerBook 5300cs back around 2000

Incidentally, mine was too. It was listed on eBay as a C model because of the badge but unfortunately it had the CS's passive matrix screen. I didn't know this until I received it in the mail. I was not pleased because the passive screen is not good. Passive matrix isn't so bad in monochrome but the color model just is not easy to use. It's like viewing a tile mosaic in a pool: it's kinda washed-out with a wavering surface. Anyway mine had 7.5 on it when I bought it. I upgraded it a couple times including a 10GB hard drive (a big deal in 2001ish) and eventually put OS 9 on it, I think. I stopped using it when I got a blueberry iBook a year or so later though and I'm unsure if I still have it or not. It may have ended up as parts; I know for sure the iBook got its upgraded hard drive.

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The first upgrade I would get 44pin to SD adapter for what its worth. 8.6 you might find it sluggish - My 1400/166 is on 8.1 and its comfortable, but 3400/240 is on 8.6 its perfect.

Cheers

AP

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@Franklinstein Aside from the incredibly weak power jack connection, the 5300 (for me at least) wasn’t a bad starter computer back when it was only 4 years old and the plastics and hinges were still strong. Incidentally, re-soldering my first 5300cs’ powerjack was my first time ever using a soldering iron.

 

@AlpineRaven Any links to a decently affordable 44pin IDE to SD (or CF???) adapter?

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1 hour ago, just.in.time said:

 

@AlpineRaven Any links to a decently affordable 44pin IDE to SD (or CF???) adapter?

 

The prices has definitely gone up since I last bought it..

 

See link; https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HOT-SD-Micro-sd-Memory-Card-to-2-5-44pin-IDE-Adapter-Reader-For-Laptop/281569695767?hash=item418edc9817:g:BNsAAOSwbqpT10Z8

 

Cheers

AP

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